Is "Pay for convenience" the new pay to win?

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  • MoregilMoregil Lenoir, NCMember UncommonPosts: 2
    If time = money (and we've all heard the argument that some people have more money than time to justify the sale of convenience items) and since both time and money are finite, than pay-for-convenience becomes pay-to-win when there simply isn't enough "reasonable" play-time to achieve said convenience (level, gear, glamour item) before it's made irrelevant by future content being added.  The tricky bit is what is a reasonable amount of play time and that's for each individual player to assess. 

    Hypothetically, if I play an MMO for 20hrs a week and I barely get through the mandatory storyline quests, reach level cap, get a decent set of dungeon gear, and am not able to obtain raid gear or customize my character further through vanity items and pets, because new content has already been added with a higher level cap, or higher item levels, or newer/cooler must-have vanity items, I would be put-out.  Usually hardcore players outpace the creation of content and sit at the finish line twiddling their thumbs waiting for the next content drop, but when average players can't even get to the finish line before it moves on them, for them pay-for-convenience feels less optional.

    Another question might be - Is staying on the most current content winning?  It does when new content makes old content trivial because of the decreased difficulty or no longer sought after rewards.  Paying for the convenience to skip the more mundane bits like questing/leveling or farming rare drops etc. could have one of two effects.  If the player dropping the cash does really have limited play time this might seen like a great equalizer, but if the player dropping the cash still plays as much or more than the ones not spending real money, there is certainly an inherent advantage.  On the PvE side they would get to raid sooner, which means more raid attempts overall, more chances for clears, more chances for equipment drops.   On the PvP side that means more time to put in to getting equipped, practicing different builds, generally just honing their skills.  Raw player skill will always play a huge part in how far players go in both PvE and PvP but having time to practice makes a big difference, and paying for convenience gives you more time practicing at the endgame level.
    Foncl4507
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,651
    Does not matter to me. I play for free.

    My yardstick is very simple. If the game is fun when i am playing for free (i.e. combat is fun, and i don't mind the grind), i will play a bit.

    If not, the world is full of other entertainment choices and i will go somewhere else. 
  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW New York, NYMember UncommonPosts: 503
    Kyleran said:
    AAAMEOW said:
    It depend on much advantage the convenient is.  In games where it take a few thousands hours to reach max level, a exp boost scroll seemed pay to win for me.
    Except reaching max level really isn't "winning" anything.


    When you are level 130 facing another person level 150 it seemed pay to win.  

    It really depend on the games.  But if that is your argument most korean game isn't pay to win, because most made their cash shop item tradeable.  You can essentially get everything the whales have by sinking enough time.
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,651
    AAAMEOW said:


    When you are level 130 facing another person level 150 it seemed pay to win.  


    Not when it is a PvE game and I am playing it as a single player game. If i go into an instance by myself, how is the L150 even going to "show up"?

    And most games don't even have kill-stealing anymore, so even if he shows up, what can he do except to help me kill stuff?
  • holdenfiveholdenfive Member UncommonPosts: 151
    4507 said:
    Already there is going to be a certain portion of the player base that's perfectly fine going to a gold seller site or buying a horse off ebay from another player. Pay to win and pay for convenience happens wether the developer sanctions it or not. I would prefer the developer being the one making the money off the 'pay to whatever' because at least there's a chance that money will be reinvested in the game. Not so with the other vultures.
    I would much prefer that developers instituted harsh RWT punishments and enforcements.

    Look at it this way: if you found out there was an illegal arms smuggler operating somewhere in your town (but you don't know where exactly), would you prefer that the police start investigating and trying to find those responsible, or would you prefer that the government starts selling arms to gangs and cartels to drive the illegal smuggler out of business by offering legitimacy? 

    The end result of the developers turning a blind eye to RWT and the developers actively engaging in RWT is the same: RWT happens on as large scale. The only thing that stops or diminishes RWT (notice that I'm not saying illegal or unsanctioned RWT, as they are just distinctions without a real difference created by greedy developers/publishers) is the developers cracking down on it.
    'harsh RWT punishments and enforcements'

    They already have harsh punishments for it, in most games it's an instant ban, I don't know what you'd expect them to do, cut a hand off or what, but that's pretty much the extent of what they can actually do. It just isn't practical to 'enforce' it. If you just happen to catch someone doing it, or if they're dumb and get themselves caught, great. But developers can't really afford to spend money on staff to regularly check for this kind of thing, you have to rely on some sort of detection system and hope for the best. But regardless, it's not sufficient enough to deter the practice.

    As for your analogy, that doesn't really work, on any level. Both of those things already do happen lol. The government already does sell arms to terrorist groups and cartels, at least in America they do. And there are plenty of illegal arms dealers that do the same thing. A better analogy would be the war on drugs. Hell yeah I'd rather the government control the drug trade and regulate it rather than encouraging murderous illegal immigrants to come into my country and set up shop and make bank off people's misery like sociopathic vampire pirates. Absolutely. There are thousands of reasons why this would be a preferable evil to what we currently have. And I'm generally a small government guy, but there some things that are so dangerous to the general populace that there is just no other clear answer. 
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,995
    Charging for convinience stuff like extra bag and bank slots is fine in my book. The devs need money to make games and keep them running after all. As long as they don't affect the gamebalance I don't see a problem with it.

    Pay2win is a very different matter, it destroy the enjoyment of the game for me. And things they sell that affect the games balance is pay2win, not convineience.
    Scotty787
  • delete5230delete5230 Member RarePosts: 4,221
    I don't see the argument. 

    Cash shops suck !
    Amaranthar
  • laxielaxie UK - Leamington SpaMember RarePosts: 896
    As a developer, you are balancing the game towards a certain point that's fun. With something like a mount, you are thinking when the best point in the game is to obtain one, how fast it should run, how difficult it should be to get, how it impacts exploration and trade, etc.

    Convenience items face the same issue as pay-to-win items, in the sense that you are suddenly balancing the game towards two points. One that is OK but not ideal (the non-paying experience) and one that is comfortable. Ultimately, the goal in that monetisation model is converting players from the OK experience to the ideal one, by having them spend money.

    The balance breaks down in a lot of places, even if you only have convenience items. Pay-to-win items are literally the same thing, with the exception of breaking balance across the board, especially when it comes to the core features.

    The Battlefront 2 developers touched on this in one of their interviews. When asked why every player gets pretty much the same amount of credits in multiplayer, regardless of performance, they said something along the lines of "We want every player to have the same experience and progress in a similar fashion." In other words, the game is specifically balanced around the "OK" and "ideal" points, and they don't want you making the transition without spending real money.
  • Viper482Viper482 Somewhere, FLMember RarePosts: 1,724
    Pay for convenience=Fast travel, inventory space, Advancement pots to make grinding less painful, cosmetics, non-combat pets, all available in game as well

    Pay to Win= Gear, skills, daily resets (think labor pots in Archage), and anything you can buy outright that others have to grind for, don't care if this stuff is available in game, still p2w because you get it in a flash where others grind dozens of hours.
  • barasawabarasawa Eugene, ORMember UncommonPosts: 530
    Stupid car analogy:
    Indy Race - 500 laps to finish (Don't care how many laps the real one is)

    Pay to win - $$$ Engine upgrade makes car 30% faster
    Pay for Convenience - $$$ You start at lap 400 
    Microtransaction Cosmetics - Cool flaming rabbit paint job (Fosters reference)

    ... To me P2W and P4C are pretty much the same thing, just with a slight twist ...
    timtrack

    Lost my mind, now trying to lose yours...

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,956
    Loke666 said:
    Charging for convinience stuff like extra bag and bank slots is fine in my book. The devs need money to make games and keep them running after all. As long as they don't affect the gamebalance I don't see a problem with it.

    Pay2win is a very different matter, it destroy the enjoyment of the game for me. And things they sell that affect the games balance is pay2win, not convineience.
    Eh, let them make a game worth paying for.
    There's a saturation of blandness and more-of-the-same because that's not required.
    Which also reduces the profit structure of the whole, making "games worth paying for" a risk.



    Once upon a time....

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,956
    Foncl said:
    The only "pay for convenience" I've found acceptable in games is where you have to pay for extra inventory slots but the game is free. As kjempff said it's easy to judge how much you will have to spend on inventory slots in a game like that to be able to enjoy it.

    Other forms of what some call "pay for convenience" are not acceptable to me so I stay away from those games. Many of them I would call pay to win.
    So the gamers who buy extra inventory slots can haul twice as much (or more) loot back and sell it, then buy twice as much gear or potions or whatever and advance more quickly.

    How is that not "win"?

    Once upon a time....

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,956
    edited December 2
    If it's really for convenience, it can't be for win.
    A cosmetic pet never helped you to win any PvE or PvP fight.
    But when gamers desire said cosmetic pet, it becomes a "win" to have it.
    It's "PTW" if it's being sold and not earned through game play.

    Oh the injustice of not having as much time as others!
    So lets make it worse by selling it. Just remove the game play and the value of earning "it".

    Post edited by Amaranthar on
    RexKushmantimtrack

    Once upon a time....

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Member RarePosts: 6,304
    Unless the person buying the level can do something that I can't when I am at that level that makes playing the game, killing the monsters or killing other players easier then imo there is no advantage.

    Some people will always level faster than others. Unless they can actually do something I don't see the advantage.
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.
  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,956
    edited December 2
    Unless the person buying the level can do something that I can't when I am at that level that makes playing the game, killing the monsters or killing other players easier then imo there is no advantage.

    Some people will always level faster than others. Unless they can actually do something I don't see the advantage.
    It's not just about advantage.
    There's also goals, desires, wants, involved in these persistent worlds (and I use the term "worlds" with more than a bit of mockery).
    Maybe you just don't care about any of that stuff. But I think it's safe to say that many gamers do.

    Edit: Which brings up another point.
    How fair is it that some players have to pay extra money to have what they want from their game?
    Post edited by Amaranthar on

    Once upon a time....

  • holdenfiveholdenfive Member UncommonPosts: 151
    Unless the person buying the level can do something that I can't when I am at that level that makes playing the game, killing the monsters or killing other players easier then imo there is no advantage.

    Some people will always level faster than others. Unless they can actually do something I don't see the advantage.
    It's not just about advantage.
    There's also goals, desires, wants, involved in these persistent worlds (and I use the term "worlds" with more than a bit of mockery).
    Maybe you just don't care about any of that stuff. But I think it's safe to say that many gamers do.

    Edit: Which brings up another point.
    How fair is it that some players have to pay extra money to have what they want from their game?
    Most people's 'wants and goals' can be narrowed down to 'I wanna reach level cap 3 days after launch so I can stand around the bank vault for 2 weeks and look cool, that gives me a 3 week window to accomplish my goals before I quits the game.'

    And that's pretty much it. The moment the general community of this genre shows me they actually care about these games and the game's integrity and what not, I might start giving a shit about this nickle and dime issue, until then, it just sounds like an excuse to whine to me. I understand, sometimes it's nice to have a whinge, doesn't mean you actually have any kind of a point though, all things considered. 
  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioMember UncommonPosts: 2,956
    Unless the person buying the level can do something that I can't when I am at that level that makes playing the game, killing the monsters or killing other players easier then imo there is no advantage.

    Some people will always level faster than others. Unless they can actually do something I don't see the advantage.
    It's not just about advantage.
    There's also goals, desires, wants, involved in these persistent worlds (and I use the term "worlds" with more than a bit of mockery).
    Maybe you just don't care about any of that stuff. But I think it's safe to say that many gamers do.

    Edit: Which brings up another point.
    How fair is it that some players have to pay extra money to have what they want from their game?
    Most people's 'wants and goals' can be narrowed down to 'I wanna reach level cap 3 days after launch so I can stand around the bank vault for 2 weeks and look cool, that gives me a 3 week window to accomplish my goals before I quits the game.'

    And that's pretty much it. The moment the general community of this genre shows me they actually care about these games and the game's integrity and what not, I might start giving a shit about this nickle and dime issue, until then, it just sounds like an excuse to whine to me. I understand, sometimes it's nice to have a whinge, doesn't mean you actually have any kind of a point though, all things considered. 
    What great gaming you are describing.

    And THAT'S the point.

    Once upon a time....

  • holdenfiveholdenfive Member UncommonPosts: 151
    Unless the person buying the level can do something that I can't when I am at that level that makes playing the game, killing the monsters or killing other players easier then imo there is no advantage.

    Some people will always level faster than others. Unless they can actually do something I don't see the advantage.
    It's not just about advantage.
    There's also goals, desires, wants, involved in these persistent worlds (and I use the term "worlds" with more than a bit of mockery).
    Maybe you just don't care about any of that stuff. But I think it's safe to say that many gamers do.

    Edit: Which brings up another point.
    How fair is it that some players have to pay extra money to have what they want from their game?
    Most people's 'wants and goals' can be narrowed down to 'I wanna reach level cap 3 days after launch so I can stand around the bank vault for 2 weeks and look cool, that gives me a 3 week window to accomplish my goals before I quits the game.'

    And that's pretty much it. The moment the general community of this genre shows me they actually care about these games and the game's integrity and what not, I might start giving a shit about this nickle and dime issue, until then, it just sounds like an excuse to whine to me. I understand, sometimes it's nice to have a whinge, doesn't mean you actually have any kind of a point though, all things considered. 
    What great gaming you are describing.

    And THAT'S the point.
    Yeah it is kinda the point. Most players have shown all they care about is the number next to their heads, and they will do absolutely anything and step over as many people and game mechanics as they have to on their way to that singular goal. If so many people didn't play that way, there'd be little market for this kinda stuff.

    And it has so many other negative effects on the games as well. Trivialized lower tier content that may as well not even be there, making it impossible for players who actually enjoy whatever challenge said content may have provided to go back and do it. That's the main thing that shits me to death. I don't rush to end game, I don't buy convenience items, I want to explore all the game has to offer. You lot (in general) make that playstyle as nauseating as possible because they support your playstyle to the detriment of mine. So you'll get no sympathy from me just cause someone 'bought' their way to the top. People who spend and people who rush all have an even hand in destroying the spirit of the games, at least from where I'm sitting. 
  • SirAgravaineSirAgravaine Member UncommonPosts: 331
    DMKano said:
    DMKano said:
    Is green really blue?

    Nope.

    Its green.

    And yes blue is just blue.


    When 2 words have entirely different definitions, like winning and convenience

    Paying for each is not going to be the same thing








    Somehow I think this thread went over your head. The OP is asking if convenience items, features, or services are as effective at putting players ahead as pay-to-win schemes (effectively becoming pay to win schemes) and if they are replacing PTW as the de facto microtransaction monetary scheme.

    Nope I was just being obtuse on purpose since this topic has been beaten to death a million times over.

    OP is known to use topic generators and create threads like these.

    Pay to win has no actual definiton - it means entirely different things to different people, so discussing what it really means is laregely an exercise in futility.

    Its like discussing "god".
    You are talking about semantics, literally. There is no futility in discussing common meaning. If something is viewed to be subjective, there is still a fulcrum for discourse.

    On the topic of "god", there is enough commonality in the meaning of the word that even members of different faiths and religions can have a discussion.
    ScorchienScotty787
  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHMember RarePosts: 3,736
    edited December 2
    for me anything that's pay for power = p2w

    Although how long it takes to grind that power has to be taken into consideration.
    Post edited by FrodoFragins on
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,651

    How fair is it that some players have to pay extra money to have what they want from their game?

    How fair? It is procedural-ly fair. The game charges the same amount for everyone for the same thing.

    Now if you want something more than others .. well, you cannot say the dev needs to treat you differently because of that.

    And sure, some people have more money than others but that is a totally different issue. There is no "fairness" issue as long as they treat every consumer the same. 
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,651

    Yeah it is kinda the point. Most players have shown all they care about is the number next to their heads, and they will do absolutely anything and step over as many people and game mechanics as they have to on their way to that singular goal. If so many people didn't play that way, there'd be little market for this kinda stuff.

    And it has so many other negative effects on the games as well. 
    what negative effects? If most players want the number next to their heads, the games are catering to them, so what is the problem?

    It may be *your* problem if you do not like it, but devs have zero obligations to cater to you. They can cater to any audience they want. It is a free market. 
  • FonclFoncl Member UncommonPosts: 268
    edited December 2
    Foncl said:
    The only "pay for convenience" I've found acceptable in games is where you have to pay for extra inventory slots but the game is free. As kjempff said it's easy to judge how much you will have to spend on inventory slots in a game like that to be able to enjoy it.

    Other forms of what some call "pay for convenience" are not acceptable to me so I stay away from those games. Many of them I would call pay to win.
    So the gamers who buy extra inventory slots can haul twice as much (or more) loot back and sell it, then buy twice as much gear or potions or whatever and advance more quickly.

    How is that not "win"?
    I agree with you, extra inventory slots are a massive advantage in most games and not acceptable to have in a cash shop for me. What I meant to say was extra storage/bank slots in free games. I've played a lot of Path of Exile which is a free game where you get a fair amount of storage for free but if you like the game and want to play long term you will want to spend some money on extra storage for items. There's also cosmetic items you can buy in the cash shop but those do not interest me.

    Path of Exiles model works for me, I can buy more storage than I need for the amount of money I think the game is worth. Ideally I would prefer not being able to buy anything in-game, paying for the game and expansions while getting a good amount of storage with the purchase and earning cosmetics in-game.
    Post edited by Foncl on
  • cranthugcranthug Pittsburgh, PAMember UncommonPosts: 72
    The Nintendo generation is now in or nearing the 35-44 age group, better market me some time saving swag.  Losing jobs and gf's due to gaming as a second job is so 2004.... ;)
  • deniterdeniter KouvolaMember UncommonPosts: 1,128
    I don't go to movies and pay extra for not having to watch the movie, and i won't do it for games either. It's kind of clever game design that has made this very question relevant, since modern MMOs don't offer much entertaining until the top end content and getting there is often made boring and mind-numbing so that players would pay for boosts to reach it sooner. In movie business this would mean there was a plain blue screen for the first 60 mins before you could see the last 20 mins and see how the movie ends, unless you paid some extra and could skip the tedious blue screen part.

    The second question is actually part of the first one. The reason games are getting expansions is to *expand* the original game, not replace it. So the whole content should be equally relevant at all times for both new and old players. If that was the case no one would need to even think of buying boosts or ways to skip content, they could progress on their own pace and re-rolling a new toon was more interesting when all that huge amount of content would once again entertain you.

    It funny how people spend money to play games for having fun on their leisure time, and at the same time they consider spending more money for not having to play them because they don't have enough leisure time.
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